I’m working on a set that takes place within The Blind Eternities. That’s right, it’s not on a plane but between the planes themselves.
But I’m having a little trouble figuring out one of my mechanics. One of the races is “Astral Being” and their mechanic revolves around being formless but also able to interact with things.
Each being is part of collective and has a particular role which I represent as body parts. Here’s a simple example:
Galactic Spindle CB
Permanent - Arm
Noncorporeal (This permanent can attack and block as though it were a creature and isn’t put into a graveyard for having 0 or less toughness.)
When a Body enters the battlefield, you may incorporate Galactic Spindle into it.
The questions I have:
1. Card type permanent is really glaring but I can’t think of a way to fix this. Maybe a type line that just says arm and reminder text that says “this permanent has no type.”? Maybe “Appendage”? I dunno.
2. What do you think of noncorporeal? Is there a better execution you can think of? The intent is to use different body parts to voltron stuff together which brings me to...
3. Incorporate. So this is the toughest one. First the Body to incorporate into.
Pulse of the Cosmos CR
Permanent - Body
Each permanent incorporated into this gets +1/+0 if it’s an Arm, and +0/+1 if it’s a Leg.
Incorporate (You may incorporate this into another permanent with noncorporeal. If you do, the two permanents become one but each operates independently.)
That’s the best I could come up with but here’s what it means.
1. They can either attack or block together or separately. You can attack with all or part. If the body attacks, the whole thing attacks, it has power and toughness equal to all incorporate parts, and is blocked as 1 creature. If it dies, you choose a part to lose. If the body is tapped the whole thing is tapped.
You can attack with just an arm or leg and you use only the arm or legs stats. You can also attack with the arm and leg which is 2 creatures. Arms or legs being tapped don’t affect the body and aren’t seen as tapped and can block with the body. The other 2 parts are Mind and Soul but I haven’t nailed these down yet.
2. If you target the incorporated permanent you must target the body, but you get to choose which part the effect takes place on. You can have the effect happen to the body or an appendage.
3. It’s counted as one permanent for counting but still has the characteristics of multiple cards. This hopefully covers a lot of corner cases but...
4. I’m sure I’m missing about a million different rules interactions so if something doesn’t work please let me know.
This is a rules nightmare, you have meshed together dozens of abilities into two keywords. Though it sounds interesting.
What is the mechanical reason for having these not be creatures? If you use creatures then Noncorporeal only makes it so that they don't die for having 0 or less toughness. It would also be used as a marker for the secondary mechanic.
Are you willing to forego the more complicated portions of these to make them function? Specifically, the independent action. Other portions can be changed to be more general rules. If you remove the independent action it becomes more reasonable. It can be written as one ability that has a state change with some hidden rules. The ability combines all of the noncorporeal creatures and the state allows you to scapegoat individual pieces. (You may combine this creature and another creature with noncorporeal, the new creature is treated as having the combined characteristics of all cards in the combination.) (If a combined creature would leave the battlefield, instead remove all damage from it and exile one of the creatures in its combination.)
This might make it stronger than you wanted but it lays out clearer rules. There are certainly more problems that aren't covered here but that could be sorted out as you go along.
Yes it’s absolutely a rules nightmare but it started as an exercise in making something completely crazy then going “maybe I can make this work.”
The mechanical reason for not being creatures, well the tribe is gonna care mostly about what types of body parts you have. I actually tried out “Tribal — Arm” for the typeline.
But I wasn’t really thinking about the why, just that “creature — Arm” made no sense, and neither did artifact and this is where I ended up.
So it’s tribal in a sense, but 5 different tribes that kinda function as one. I guess you could technically make a deck of all legs or arms, incorporate doesn’t specify it has to be attached to a body.
I will consider making them creatures, if I have to, but that ruins the noncorporeal aspect IMO.
Your suggestion is great at cutting down on the excess rules baggage so I’ll play with it some and see if I can refine it more. I think it’s great and exactly what I needed. Thank you.
Really I just wanna make this work any way possible, so whatever does the job!
So just to make sure I get what you’re saying something like this.
Pulse of the Cosmos CR
Tribal - Body
Incorporeal (This can attack and block as though it were a creature. It doesn’t die for having 0 or less toughness. Lethal damage still destroys it.)
Incorporate (When another nonbody incorporeal permanent you control enters the battlefield, you may combine it’s power and toughness with this. If a spell or effect would cause it to leave the battlefield, choose one of the combined permanents instead.)
Its better, my version was a special action that would be defined like morph; maybe it should have a cost. You want damage to take down the whole combo? I had simplified it to always exile so you don't get the rules nightmare of having to explain choosing one of the part and performing the action on them, it also allowed it to use similar rules to regenerate.
Other than the massive power boost of only being effected by spells that only effect 'permanents' rather than creature(which is a major concern) I can't find a reason to have these as "things that act like creatures but aren't"
You don't want Bodies combining? I can understand that a little but it adds needless complexity.
If you want to you can still reference individual pieces but for every other case the combined cards are a single permanent.
Pulse of the CosmosCR
Creature - Body
Incorporeal (This creature isn't put into the graveyard for having 0 or less toughness.)
Incorporate (You may pay 1 to combine this with another creature you control with Incorporeal. If this would leave the battlefield, instead remove all damage from it and exile a piece.)
Pulse of the Cosmos gets +1/+1 for each piece that makes it.
I think this is about as close to what I want as can be achieved so I’ll roll with this and shelf the crazy stuff. I actually didn’t catch the damage/exile interaction until you just pointed it out. Thanks for all your help.
Just as one last hoorah, does this work within the rules:
Refraction Diffraction CC
Tribal Spell - Eye
Cast this spell only during the declare blockers step.
Target Eye creature becomes a noncreature until end of turn and deals damage equal to its power to target creature blocking or blocked by it.
No, noncreatures don't have power or toughness; even if they have one printed on them. This was made clear when they made vehicles, the printed power and toughness are always there but only mean something when its a creature.
Whats with the hate of the actual card types? Unlike the creature one this one loses a lot of power by not being an instant because most things that interact negatively with spells interact with any spell rather than specifically instants, while there are lots of positive abilities that interact specifically with instants and sorceries so by not being one it mostly loses value.
I figured making typeless permanent and spells would make them more difficult to interact with for an opponent thus playing up the incorporeal aspect of it.
There would be cards that care about typeless spells and permanents of course so there would be other ways to interact.
Typeless cards is just something I always wanted to try so I’m seeing what I can do with it.